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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

0 comments | Friday, July 27, 2007

When I heard about the name Pow-wow, I thought it was just a joke. You know, the kind of name one creates out of nowhere. But Pow-wow does exist! Someone told me that the term Pow-wow was derived from the shout or chant American Indians do -- like that long shrilling powowowowow...

The little research I did, however, revealed a different beginning.

Pow-wow (sometimes powwow or pow wow or pau wau) actually means folk magic. The name was taken from Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader". For many years, it has become a gathering of North America's indigenous people - the Native Americans.

A pow-wow event in recent definition consists of people (Native American and non-Native American alike) meeting in one particular area to dance, sing, socialize, and generally have a good time.


Dancing, singing, socializing, and generally having a good time. Those were exactly what I saw and experienced when I attended the Pow-wow 2007 event at Flandreau, South Dakota last weekend.

A pow-wow session begins with the Grand Entry, during which all the dancers line up by dance style and age, then enter the arena while one of the host drums sings an opening song. This event is sacred in nature, and many Native individuals often do not allow filming or photography during this time.


Most of the various types of dances performed at a pow-wow are descended from the dances of the Plains tribes of Canada and the United States. Besides those for the opening and closing of a pow-wow session, the most common is the intertribal, where a drum will sing a song and anyone who wants to can come and dance. Similar dances are the trot dance, called a crow hop when performed by a northern drum or a horse stealing song by a southern drum, and the round dance. Each of these songs have a different step to be used during them, but are open for dancers of any style.


It was a 2-day event but I only saw the second day. I bet, the first one was equally amazing.

To see the native Americans in their native costumes and appreciating their culture though dances and songs was worth the experience. It was kinda similar to the Sinulog festival in Cebu, Philippines, if one has to think of the colorful dresses and the jubilation it creates. Yet the aura at Pow-wow was different.

I heard that there is also an annual Pow-wow here in Brookings, around mid February. I'll check it out next year and see how it fares with what I experienced in Flandreau.

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